Category: Insects

Mastering Farming Even Before Humans

Mastering Farming Even Before Humans feat

Humans are not the first species to farm on Earth. Nor are they the first species to have taken agriculture to industrial scale to feed millions. Three species from the insect world have been farming fungi from the last 20-65 million years. Ants, termites and ambrosia beetles are the first species to have mastered the ability to harvest food from crops and farming is so close to their heart that […]

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Gardening with Bugs

Gardening with Bugs

I grew up in a family of keen gardeners. My father was in the RAF so that meant that every three years he got posted somewhere else so they started making a new garden. For the first fifteen years of my life that was mostly North Yorkshire. I remember aged 7 being awarded a penny for every dandelion I dug from the garden lawn. I was never charged for the […]

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Integrated Pest Management-The Smart Solution

Caterpillar

Among the biggest challenges the present world is going through, producing enough food for its vast population is a vital one. The explosion of population forces the modern agriculture to produce the minimum amount of food required to feed the living human population without leaving too many scopes for the agronomists to think much about the environment and people’s health. You must protect your crops from the damages caused by […]

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Plant – Based Insect Repellents

Plant – Based Insect Repellents

Insects. As much as we need them, they can be quite a nuisance. Although insect repellents abound, far too few are ecologically friendly. Most are composed of harsh and potentially harmful chemicals, with warning labels worthy of any horror story. The good news? Just as nature provides us with an overabundance of insects, it also provides us with all-natural, plant-based remedies to drive them back from whence they came. Whether […]

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Accommodating Garden Friends With an Insect Hotel

Feature-Insect-Hotel

The vanishing population of bees and other beneficial insects is a threat to gardens and ecological balance in general. Attracting insects that are useful for pollination and the reduction of destructive pests provides the chance to sync with nature. Inviting beneficial insects (BIs) to promote the natural harmony of your outdoor environment – whether it is a small yard, farm or ranch – is achievable with insect hotels. These anthropodal […]

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Cycling with Black Soldier Flies

Black Soldier Fly (Courtesy of Sukarman)

Photo: (Courtesy of Sukarman) Flies get a bum rap. We swat them. We set out traps. They get no respect. But, it’s time all that changes. Few of us acknowledge that flies, behind bees and few wasps, are amongst the most prolific pollinators in nature. Rarely, do we discuss how flies are avid recyclers, clever scavengers, and excellent monitors of plant pests. Most of the time it’s just splat with […]

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Plants That Attract Beneficial Insects

by Fred Hoffman Nature wants to make your job as a gardener as easy as possible; but you have to help. So, let’s talk about putting in plants that attract the "good bugs", the crawling and flying creatures whose diet includes pests that are ravaging your garden plants. These beneficial predatory insects do not live on aphid steaks alone. They need other natural sources of food and shelter for their […]

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Organic Tick Repellant

Organic Tick Repellant

Photos: Ingrid Pullen Late winter and early summer in the warm zones of Australia are deadly times of year for smaller farm animals, especially newborns, because of the deadly paralysis tick. Young cows up to 4 months, sheep, goats, geese, cats and dogs can all die from the powerful neurotoxin of the paralysis tick. People can also suffer and be seriously effected if the ticks are not removed within a […]

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The Cranky Honey Bees of South America

African honey bee and workers In 1978 something changed with honey bees in Colombia, South America. Beekeepers began to notice that their nice and well behaved European honey bees (Apis mellifera mellifera, Apis mellifera ligustica, Apis mellifera carnica and Apis mellifera caucasica and the combinations between these species) started to have terrible mood swings! They began to sting repeatedly, and swarming and absconding (abandoning the hive) phenomena were too common […]

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Reducing Bug Pests with House Wrens

by Richard Larson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8UZ7KZC8Hk This house wren couple are not camera shy when they have young to feed! Often I inspect the produce in the garden and find I’m hard pressed to locate insect pests, yet these little 10 gram (0.35 ounce) songbirds will fly into the garden on seemingly endless trips and find insects to feed their young.

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Honeybee Reproduction, Part II: Nutrition and Pheromones

Note: If you haven’t already done so, you can read Part I here. Worker pupae Hold on to your hats, ‘cause this story contains awesome parenting, sexual suppression, and murderous rampages! A honeybee egg hatches after three days, and then emerges a tiny white larva that is completely helpless. It is meticulously cared for by its older sisters, who feed it a protein rich substance called royal jelly, from a […]

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Let’s Invite Leaf Cutter Bees into Our Gardens

Africanized honey bee with the corbicula full of pollen Yummy, yummy! is the phrase that comes to our minds when remembering Winnie the Pooh eating all those pots of honey. Many of us may only have thought about honey bees for the first time when we were kids, thanks to that cute bear with the sweet tooth. Then we learned that we are not only indebted to honey bees for […]

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